Poetry 2011 / Volume 42

Stuff of Legend — Tony Tracy

It goes without saying I’m not the first alkie questioning his decision
to go on the lamb. Dry days of courage, pills designed to regulate
neuro-transmitters have failed miserably. Runner’s high, commitment

to counsel’s verbage are what have kept me away, that and pilfered funds,
early dispersals of 40 IK, notion that money spent, the accumulation of personal
affects, could be suitable collateral for the delusion I could manage drink.

I fault Mickey Rourke, his sleazy yet endearing treatment of “Buk”,
how he made the drinking life seem gutty and cavalier, an existence
worth embracing as long as poetry flowed and a woman of fidelity

and bright constitution, a woman with fine features and a spark of bravado,
a woman like Faye Dunaway was waiting for you. Pshaw! The over-
amplified rubbish of writing! The sick and manipulative language

of addicts! Historians of bad behavior, self-made debauchery, how after
a 3-day bender one could drift so far from conscientious bearings
that you, yes you, while your wife was away, could sit a call girl

in an oak rocker as your boys dressed for school on the other side of the wall.
And to think a week earlier you stood before your woman’s steeley gaze,
lurch of a 1151bs., and denounced, repeatedly, never ever having relations

outside the gold bands of trust. And did so deadpan, with utter confidence,
belief of one trapped in the conundrum of pathology’s maze. And now trembling
thought to come off this hiatus like swimming between the jagged reef

of Syclla & Charibdis. Odds of surviving infinitesimally small, dire %age
according to the gurus of AA; chances better at craps or roulette, a head-on
at 60mph, a major league fastball flush in the face. But the empty savior is

beguiling, a treacherous lady singing in the two part harmony, thunderous
ovation that rages in the veins. What to do, what to do? Jesus, you wonder how
the fuck you could allow yourself to ever entertain. Know deeply the horrors,

dark days of denial, how you perfected tricks of self delusion, embraced
the mockery you made of your life under its thrall. No matter. Desire will
enliven and revive. Dream can suggest and recall: arduous laughter,

clank of bottle and glass, how sumptuous meals were waved away in favor
of the blur of beverage. Come morning, years removed from adolescent
fun and pleasure, the annotated saga told by friend or family of all that

went wrong. And yet another headache, speculative bruise and banished ego,
flurry of sarcasm and mocking asides that ended with removal from favorite
restaurant by clownish pratfall.

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